Designs for three new primary schools nearly finishedBy Jon Nurse
December 27, 2012
Designs for three new primary schools are being finalised – and parents are being told to walk their children to class.
Planning applications are due to be submitted by Monday for the schools in Winnersh Farm, Smith’s Walk in Woosehill, and East Park Farm in Charvil to meet the rising demand for primary school places.
The decision to build the schools is part of the borough’s Primary Provision Strategy action plan for 2013/14, which was given unanimous approval by the council’s executive on Tuesday, December 18, despite parents’ traffic fears.
Councillor David Lee, leader of the council, said: “We could get our children to walk to school. There is too much driving in this borough.
“We all have a responsibility, we as a council can’t enforce this, it must come from the people who have children at the schools.
“We can work with parents and schools because there is no congestion when the schools are on holiday.” He added: “Some parents would drive their children into the classroom if they could.”
If the applications are approved it is hoped the building work will start in March.
The project will cost £13.35 million over the next three years.
The Primary Provision Strategy recommended building the new schools and a one-form entry primary school in the south west of the borough as part of the Shinfield SDL (Strategic Development Location), as well as expanding Shinfield Infant and Shinfield St Mary’s CE Junior School and Grazeley Parochial Primary School.
The executive approved The Piggott School to run the new primary in Charvil, and it is hoped the new schools in Winnersh Farm, Smith’s Walk and Shinfield SDL will be run by academies or free schools.
As The Piggott is an academy, it must have the support of the Secretary of State for Education for it to run the Charvil site.
The council hopes to confirm the other education providers by Tuesday, January 15.
Cllr Rob Stanton said: “I must congratulate The Piggott School Academy for being chosen in a competitive bid. I think it is an excellent choice and I’m sure they will bring a high level of professionalism to this project and I wish them well.”
He added: “We have never invested as much in schools as we do currently.”
Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for children’s services, said: “I would like to thank members of the community who have taken part in this process and came along to the forums. We have spoken to more than 1,500 people and it has really influenced this strategy.”